Wendell Griffen tells some truths | Arkansas Blog

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wendell Griffen tells some truths

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 7:18 AM

click to enlarge WENDELL GRIFFEN: Shown in photo from previous speech. - HSU.EDU
  • WENDELL GRIFFEN: Shown in photo from previous speech.
The Arkansas Community Institute gave its Truth Teller Award last night to pastor/Judge Wendell Griffen at a program at the downtown library last night. He made some remarks, of course, and has provided a copy.

An excerpt indicates Griffen was as unvarnished as ever:

Subversive truth-telling is a moral and ethical necessity if we want a just society and world.

· When pseudo-leaders respond to events such as the recent terrorist attack in Paris, France with demagogic calls to ban Syrian refugees from the United States, say they are opposed to Muslim immigrants, and say they are opposed to Arkansas receiving refugees from Syria (Governor Asa Hutchinson), we need subversive truth-tellers to denounce their xenophobia and hypocrisy.

· When pseudo-leaders continue to lionize the American president (Ronald Reagan) whose administration deliberately, and unlawfully, trafficked arms to promote wars in Central America, while the CIA enabled smugglers to fly cocaine to major U.S. cities, we need subversive truth tellers to denounce the War on Drugs as a longstanding fraud that corporate media continues to ignore.

· When politicians and self-styled education “reformers” press to privatize and commodify public education, we need subversive truth-tellers with the courage and insight to expose and declare the truth that the much ballyhooed “achievement gap” was always, and remains, a function of social and political inequality, not personal ability, intellect, and responsibility.

· When business people talk about “economic growth” and when people complain about affirmative action remedies for centuries of race-based discrimination, we need subversive truth-tellers who remind us that “economic growth” in New England and the South was built on enslaving Africans, that “economic growth” in the West was built on genocide of Native Americans and workplace injustice against immigrants from Asia, and that “economic growth” in the Southwest was built on land theft and discrimination against Latinos.

· When the biggest retailer in the world enjoys its dominance after decades of wage theft while political leaders in its home state accuse labor unions of being crooked, we need subversive truth-tellers who declare the counter-narrative that the minimum wage, forty-hour work week, sick pay, Social Security, Medicare, and other safety-net mainstays of our economy resulted from the hard, and often dangerous, work of labor activists, not bankers, realtors, and Chamber of Commerce operatives.

· And when “law and order” functionaries accuse communities of color of being lawless and falsely stereotype all people from Islamic societies of being vicious terrorists, we need subversive truth-tellers to declare the counter-narrative that the United States is the only nation in the history of humanity that engaged in the terrorism of deploying nuclear weapons against civilian populations (twice). The United States refused to enact a federal anti-lynching law to curb the terrorism of lynch mobs. The United States refuses to maintain a data base for injuries and deaths associated with the terrorism of gun violence.

These and other moral and ethical travesties render any professed claim to U.S. “exceptionalism” to be delusional, if not manifestly fraudulent.

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